Monday, October 5, 2009

Issue 2

I know, I know. You want me to blog about the farm and not silly legislation! But here is one you get to actually vote for, YOURSELF. Here is one you get to tell your friends and neighbors about, to educate those around you. And we can make a real difference.

On the ballot this November 3rd you will see Issue 2. It will say:
And you will think to yourself. "Why, yeah! I support the care and health of livestock animals!" And you will reach for the "Yes" ____ (button, lever, chad, scantron bubble (however, we are voting this time!))

A yes vote is a mistake, in my opinion. You are voting to create a board, primarily of industry insiders (the ones who run CAFOs and Battery Chicken houses now) who will set standards that every farmer will have to follow. Rules that are probably not even applicable to people like me with 24 chickens...

The Humane Society of the United States says "It’s designed to favor large factory farms, not family farmers, Issue 2 is opposed by the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio League of Humane Voters, and the Ohio Sierra Club. The editorial boards of Ohio’s major newspapers—including the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, and Dayton Daily News—all oppose this effort to enshrine the agribusiness lobby’s favored oversight system in the state’s constitution."

Other groups which oppose Issue 2 are the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (the certifying organization for Organic in Ohio), Northeast Ohio's chapter of Slow Food, and the Innovative Farmers of Ohio (an organization for small, sustainable growers).

The Journal of Whole Food and Nutritional Health says "Factory Farmers are promoting this constitutional amendment as a way to protect them from criticism by the Humane Society and PETA and other people who may question their treatment of animals.... Do not be fooled by the misleading language of this proposal. It protects large, industrial farms that confine hundreds and even thousands of animals for rapid growth using antibiotics, hormones, and unnatural habitats. Vote NO on Issue 2"

We have about a month to make sure everyone we know knows about this issue, so I will try to talk about it about once a week until then, interspersed with lots of farm photos and news.

Until then, think about this. Many of us are doing what we can to limit how much meat we eat from CAFOs or Battery Chicken Houses. So why would we support a bill which puts that very industry in charge of animal care regulations in our state, in our state constitution?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the text of the amendment that would be enacted under Issue 2, see:

Whatever the merits (or demerits) of an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, the establishment of such a board does not impress me as something that should be added to the Ohio Constitution. The Constitution should define the basic organization, principles and processes of the state; a livestock care standards board qualifies under none of these. If a livestock care standards board is required, it should be established by the legislature, where the board's composition, responsibilities and authority would be publicly debated.